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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Wednesday, Sept. 20


FIRST: The I Man drops after flashing speed in debut; price play in weak opener. Sicilia Mike owns fast figures but hasn’t found the winner’s circle in 15 attempts; must take the good with the bad. Light the Vow also owns swift numbers but is 0-for-14; happy hunting.

SECOND: The Pooch returns to dirt and projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Primo Pentimento also is quick from gate and could prove tough if able to secure lead. The Great Samurai packs late kick and looms the prime beneficiary if top pair hook on the front end.

THIRD: Changewilldoyagood could find marathon distance beyond scope, but should enjoy unchallenged lead; it’s all about the price. Manitoulin owns two wins and a second in four starts on Belmont sod; likely underlay. Red Rifle owns fast figures but is another that will offer short odds.

FOURTH: Fancy Gem is training sharply for first dirt start for Rudy Rodriguez; weakness of field is selection’s strength. This Bird Can Sing drops, returns to dirt and owns solid back numbers; dangerous. Tough Old Bird makes third start of form cycle; very interesting.

FIFTH: Ten Eyck gets Lasix and should be aided by additional distance. Rockin Jo moves to turf after flashing brief speed in last; price will be tempting. Accolade debuts for Christophe Clement; stay tuned to the tote.

SIXTH: Sunset District is riding a forward line on late-pace and final figures; rates close call. Indebted packs solid kick and is a two-time winner on Belmont grass; very playable. Blarp compiled tight work tab for first start since claimed by Rudy Rodriguez; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Glindas Good Karma owns advantageous stalker’s style and logged eye-catching work slate for local debut for Ben Perkins, Jr.; runs past them in the lane. Cowboy’s Hero owns speed and adds blinkers; big-time, front-end threat. Phi Beta Express also is fleet-footed and will prove very tough if able to hold his rail position.

EIGHTH: Aunt Babe was a visually impressive winner in debut; more to come. Girl’s Dance Party ships downstate after demolishing six rivals by more than seven lengths in debut at Finger Lakes; very dangerous. Berning Rose is another that won at first asking and must be considered in wide-open NY-bred stake.

NINTH: French Dressing is fresh and notched career-best number on Belmont grass last summer; breakthrough effort predicted. Star Maven makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and owns field’s fast late-pace figures on “A” game; dangerous. Lemondrop Lollipop is rested and owns solid final numbers; must be considered. Lion in Wait makes first start since claimed by Brad Cox and was second in two starts on Belmont turf; big-time player.

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